Friday, February 26, 2010

Point of order wakes up sleepy Shikapwasha

Point of order wakes up sleepy Shikapwasha
By Mwala Kalaluka
Thu 25 Feb. 2010, 04:09 CAT

NATIONAL Assembly Deputy Speaker Mutale Nalumango has ordered parliamentarians to fully concentrate on the business of the House after information minister Lieutenant General Ronnie Shikapwasha was caught sleeping in Parliament on Tuesday.

And Monze UPND parliamentarian Jack Mwiimbu caused laughter among some opposition parliamentarians after he asked health minister Kapembwa Simbao if Ndola Central Hospital had facilities to cater for the rising cases of hallucinations in the country.

During the first sitting of the fourth session of the tenth assembly, Pemba UPND member of parliament David Matongo rose on what he described as a serious point of order after he spotted Lt Gen Shikapwasha sleeping as the House was dealing with questions for oral answers.

Matongo raised his point of order as gender deputy minister Lucy Changwe was responding to follow-up questions arising from Kankoyo PF parliamentarian Percy Chanda's question on the issue of gender-based violence.

“I am very concerned that since I entered this House, the Minister of Information has converted his chair into a bed,” Matongo said, adding, “you can even see he is being woken.”

Before Nalumango could attend to Matongo's point of order, Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili was heard shouting: “Wake up General! Overnight prayers!”

In her ruling, Nalumango said she did not concentrate on any one person and she would therefore find it very difficult in that she had not seen what Matongo had observed.

“However, it is for all of us to concentrate,” said Nalumango as the whole House broke into laughter.
Later at 15:57 hours, Southern Province minister Daniel Munkombwe was also seen sleeping during proceedings in the House.

Luapula Province minister Dr Boniface Kawimbe only nudged Munkombwe from his sleep after Western Province minister Sikwibele Mwapela tried to leave his seat and the chamber using the vantage where Munkombwe was sitting.

Munkombwe woke up with a moment's hesitation and made way for Mwapela.

And Mwiimbu, in a follow-up question to a response given by health deputy minister Dr Solomon Musonda on the number of referrals to Ndola Central Hospital, asked if the health institution had facilities to cater for the rising cases of hallucinations in Zambia.

Mwiimbu said Dr Musonda in his response had said Ndola Central Hospital receives referrals, especially psychiatric, from other provinces like Luapula and Copperbelt, hence his follow-up question on hallucinations.

But Simbao, who appeared irritated by Mwiimbu's question, said there was no such record as being portrayed by Mwiimbu that there was an increase in the cases of hallucinations in the country.

“Actually, maybe the honourable member is hallucinating himself. We do not have such a record,” Simbao said. “When we talk about sickness, we should be very serious. I have seen how members change here when they get into a sick situation.”

However, an opposition parliamentarian who shouted that former president Frederick Chiluba was sick complimented Simbao's response.

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